In France, Tipping in Restaurants, Non. Showing Appreciation to the Government, Oui

December 23, 2022

Ah, France. Land of 200 cheeses, medallion bedecked chickens, and fat American high-tech creatures. Go to a French restaurant and order (in French certaInment) a cooked bird. Chow down. Do not tip the waiter. Say “merci” and smile. But if you a very fat, super large, very unpredictable American technology company tipping is mandatory.

Don’t believe me?

Read “Microsoft Hit with €60 Million Fine by France for Not Offering Cookie Opt Out on Bing.” Mais oui. The write up reports:

In addition, CNIL will fine Microsoft €60,000 per day within three months if it doesn’t ask users for consent to use an ad fraud detection cookie.

Will Microsoft’s paying up make the governmental doubt about Microsoft become like the mist in Verdon Gorge?

Ho ho ho.

In order to do business in France, American outfits have to go through a number of hoops. Some are easy; others require some bureaucratic finesse. One example is for an American company to sell something to the French government. There are hoops for American cheese. I have been informed that canned American cheese propelled by carbon dioxide is a hoot at some French parties. Mon dieu! Aerosol fromage. Interesting.

With the EU chasing some firms who say one thing and do another, fining some big tech companies is a way to get an allowance from mom. Amazon appears to decided to just pay up.

Microsoft may enter the fascinating French legal system to explain that its tracking devices are different. Oh, well. Some French judicial officials can use a mobile phone. But the cookie thing? Maybe not so much.

What’s the sound I hear? It is ka-ching.

Finding reasons to take legal action against US big tech companies is easy. The regret, as I understand it, is that it take a long time to get the money from the Americans.

What’s the outlook for 2023? That’s a softball question. The answer is more lawyers pecking on the confused Americans. The Monaco Grand Prix is in France right?

Stephen E Arnold, December 23, 2022


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